Monday, April 16, 2007

Prophet Muhammad's advice on Zikr (Dhikr), Divine Remembrance

Hadrat Ali, May God be please with him, asked our Master the Prophet, peace be upon him, to teach him the easiest, the most valuable, the most immediate way to salvation.

Our Master the Prophet waited for the angel Gabriel to bring the answer from the Divine Source. He came and taught our Master to say, "La ilaha" - there is no god, no other reality - while turning his blessed face to the right;

and to say "illa-Allah" - but God alone, Allah alone, the Supreme Reality alone - while turning his face to his left, towards his blessed pure heart.

Our Master, the Prophet repeated this 3 times; and then taught it to Ali, making him repeat it 3 times. Then he taught the Divine Witnessing of Grand Unity, Oneness (Tawhid) in the same manner to his companions. Ali was the first to ask for it and was the first to be taught.

- From the book The Secret of Secrets (Sirr al-Asrar) by Hadrat 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (1077-1166), may God sanctify his secrets.

:: This is a beautiful example of Zikr (Dhikr) or Remembrace practice as taught by the Prophet. Not only the sacred formula but also the accompanying physical movement that he taught is very simple but very powerful at the same time. When pronouncing the negation of everything else, all other false reality with turning our face from left to right is symbolic of the negation. Its as if we are crossing out the false realities, false objectives, false ilaha by saying La ilaha. The word 'La' means "no" or "there is no" in this context. 'ilaha' is any object worthy of worship, god; but the implication goes much deeper than just false god. Anything that is other than God is also inclusive.

While turning the face to left and finally towards the heart while saying illa-Allah is acknowleding the Divine, the only Reality that exists in truth. The Heart is the symbol of the repository of the Divine Secret, the Throne of God for mystics. Turning towards it, is realigning our consciousness to the Truth.

This whole formula, the sacred mantra, the witenessing (shahada) forumal is the key to Divine Witnessing of Grand Unity. Be cautioned: this practice is so powerful that if you do the practice with concentration, with understanding and stillness of mind you are to reach a level of ecastasy unlike anything you have tasted before. with prolonged practice this may create illumination of consciousness, God willing.

... verily remembrance of God is the greatest.
(walathikru Allahi akbaru) (The Quran 29:45).
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